'Rogue' extrasolar planetary-mass object detected

Artist’s conception of SIMP01365 an object with 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter’s. Image credit Chuck Carter Caltech  NRAO  AUI  NSF

'Rogue' extrasolar planetary-mass object detected

The object was discovered back in 2016 but it has now been described as a "rogue planet" after scientists determined it was moving on its own, without an orbiting star.

According to the researchers, this object came to be some 200 million years ago and is traveling all alone in the cosmos, with no other star in its proximity to revolve around.

The object, which is now around 20 light years from Earth, is more than 12 times the size of Jupiter.

"This object is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf, or 'failed star, ' and is giving us some surprises", stated Melodie Kao, the study's leading author. At the time, researchers thought SIMP was a brown dwarf: an object that's too big to be a planet, but too small to be a star.

The planet is considered to be a rogue one because it does not have an orbit around a parent star, unlike the planets of the solar system.

This is the first radio-telescope detection and first measurement of the magnetic field of such an object beyond our solar system. Its surface seems to be about 825 degrees Celsius, while the Sun's surface reaches the 5,500. When these particles near Earth, they're pulled toward the poles of our planet by our global magnetic field.

This is the first planetary mass object detected with a radio telescope.

More baffling still is its mass and powerful magnetic field that's over 200 times stronger than Jupiter's.

Astronomers using NSF's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array have detected a "rogue" planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field.

The planet is believed to have scorching surface temperatures of around 825C.

Though this makes brown dwarfs really puzzling, the team believes further observation of this object could provide more insight into the formation of auroras. The auroras on Earth are caused by our planet's magnetic field interacting with the solar wind.

"[This presents] huge challenges to our understanding of the dynamo mechanism that produces the magnetic fields in brown dwarfs and exoplanets and helps drive the auroras we see", said Gregg Hallinan, study co-author and assistant professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Astronomy, in a statement. However, not everything was successfully predicted: initially, brown dwarfs were thought to not emit radio waves, but in 2001, that was disproven.

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